Friday 19 December 2014

Lexicum and Zzish at BETT 2015

The BETT show is fast approaching - exciting times! For us at Lexicum BETT is a very special event as BETT 2014 was the moment when our project catalyzed through dozens of interviews with teachers and learners - probably the most intense learning experience we've ever head.

Next year's BETT is proving even more exciting with some partnerships that are taking shape. I can't tell you much at this stage but I'll post the dates so you can save the slots and more details will soon follow up.

To give you a quick teaser, Lexicum has partnered with Zzish to deliver a comprehensive classroom experience for teachers and we'll be showcasing our joint project at their stand, BFG1 at BETT 2015 - 21 to 24 January. Here are the specific dates of the presentation:

  • Thursday, Jan 22, 14:00
  • Friday, Jan 23, 14:00
  • Saturday, Jan 24, 12:00
  • Saturday, Jan 24, 14:00

Apart from the presentations of our new functionality there will be talks from interesting guests and other surprises so stay tuned!

Friday 14 November 2014

Last month's winners

As we've announced previously, we like to recognize our most keen learners by giving out awards to the top users each week. Over the course of the last month we've had two users who were bold enough to identify them publicly and the ones who didn't still received a modest award. The current batch of lexicophiles includes Veronica Piutti from Italy and Georgi Bachvarov from Bulgaria. A special call for Hristiana Tomova, who is not only an active learner but is also very active in our learner communities.

In case you haven't heard of these, we run facebook groups for Spanish and Bulgarian speakers and learners. If you'd like to get involved with other learners and there is no group for your language and you feel left out - let us know in the comments, we'll create one for you!

Monday 27 October 2014

Startupweekend FIWARE @ Berlin - 2nd place for Lexicum

Ah, Berlin - where do I start! A city with such a vibe and energy, uniquely rich culture and history - one of my favourite places in Europe. I'd love to chat about all the crazy things I've done there (although some I'll never mention) but this post is focused on Lexicum's 2nd place at the StartupWeekend FIWARE edition and the background about FIWARE and EuropeanPioneers.

Monday 13 October 2014

With the latest update Lexicum is turning into a powerful tool for teachers

Lexicum has been helping learners improve their vocabulary for a while now - our web and mobile apps have been live for months. However, with our latest release we add some exciting new features that will not only make the platform more useful for learners but also turn it into a powerful tool for teachers. The most significant addition is the word lists feature - users can now organize their words into groups and can also share these groups with other users. The new functionality allows teachers to prepare lists of words based on topic or a work of literature covered in class. These lists can then be shared with the students so they can use them as a reference in class and practice them later, on any device.

Here is a quick overview of how the new functionality works (no audio):

Friday 10 October 2014

All roads lead to Rome (and Rome leads to Silicon Valley)

The Innovator's Week and Maker Faire took place in Rome last week, sending repercussions throughout Italy and even further around Europe. For 7 selected companies the weekend had an even bigger impact - the Mind the Bridge boot camp took place - an intensive two day mentorship and evaluation programme focused on addressing the US market and settling into the Silicon Valley

Thursday 4 September 2014

Become part of a learning community

At Lexicum we know how important it is to get support while learning. Be it a teacher that knows what's right and what's wrong, or be it a friend to hold conversations with, it always helps when you have someone to discuss with. In educational research they call it cognitive scaffolding, to remind of the way scaffoldings help workers erect buildings. There's no question about the benefits of a learning conversation. Yet, it is not always possible for everyone to attend language classes for years, as students traditionally do. Because of that at Lexicum we are gathering a community of language learners to help one another.

Monday 11 August 2014

Lexicum at the Intel Business Challenge Finals

Most people know Intel as the manufacturer of the "hearts" of modern computers. Well, they are much more than that - they are a key supporter of tech innovation, have a major venture fund run various startup contests. Well, Lexicum made it to the European finals of their Business Challenge. The finals are to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania on 8th to 10th of September.

Friday 11 July 2014

This is how your effort becomes tangible

What we do here at Lexicum is making vocabulary learning more accessible with the use of technology. Part of our vision is making it easier for learners to feel that they are making progress. Now with the new version we have made one more step towards this goal. This article is meant to explain how we track your learning and convert it into points.

Thursday 3 July 2014

How to improve your Duolingo experience

Duolingo is amazing and loved by so many. It is no secret that we love it, too. It is accessible, fun, and it gives you the confidence that you need when you see you are making progress. It simply works. But if you include Lexicum into the mix, then you’ve hit the jackpot! A few of our users have discovered that Duolingo is even better when combined with Lexicum.

Monday 30 June 2014

Use your dictionary interactively

Lexicum makes it easy for you to search for words interactively. You can find translations, not only of the language that you are learning, but also in your native language. With this, the dictionary is useful, not only when you want to understand what something means, but also when you want to learn how to say something new.

Thursday 26 June 2014

1st Prize at the Language Tech Summit

Lexicum is on a winning streak! After winning at the Balkan Venture Forum we now took home the 1st prize at the European Language Technology Innovation summit. The event was superbly organized, the competition was pretty solid but we still managed to stand out and were awarded the top prize by Paul RĂ¼big, a member of the European Parliament.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Make the most out of Lexicum with keyboad shortcuts

Lexicum is all about making the process of learning vocabulary smooth. We are not trying to impose a tool-centered way of learning words - we just provide a tool that fits in your learning process seamlessly. With Lexicum you get rid of the more mundane tasks and get more time for what matters the most: experiencing the language. Thus, we've added comprehensive keyboard shortcuts to automate more tasks and spend even less time on tools. Here is the comprehensive list.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Vamoooooooos! Lexicum update with new look and Portuguese for the world cup

Once again the world is gripped by the football fever and all eyes are set on Brazil where the top 32 teams in the world will contest the most prestigious title of all. At the same time, Lexicum releases a major facelift, including adding Portuguese to our list of supported languages.

More than 3 million will get immersed into the unique vibe at the stadiums and probably up to half a billion will watch the games on TV, some of them - at very awkward times. In Europe most games will be at reasonable times, only occasionally going past 2am - but believe most employers will tolerate mild delays due to football fever on the previous night; Lexicum, for one, surely will!

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Lexicum releases a native iPhone app

As you all know, Lexicum started as a desktop web site but we've known from day 1 that the smartphone is going to be a key platform for learning vocabulary. Thus, mobile apps have been central to our vision and we've had a mobile web app since March. We have now backed this with native app which will provide for a smoother experience for iPhone and iPad users. If you own any of these devices feel free to give it a try:

Saturday 24 May 2014

Greetings for St. Cyril and Methodius Day

It's celebration time - various places are having a long weekend for various reasons. In the US they have Memorial day on Monday and in the UK it's the uncreatively named Spring Bank Holiday. In Eastern Orthodox countries however, and especially in the ones using the Cyrillic alphabet, it's an even more special holiday - the St. Cyril and Methodius Day, which is also celebrated as the culture and education day as these guys invented the Cyrillic script. It should, therefore, be a also a major holiday for us, lexicophiles.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Lexicum is a Balkan Venture Forum Winner!

We're very happy to announce that Lexicum was among the 7 winners of the Balkan Venture Forum which took place on 15 and 16 May near Sarajevo and saw pitches from startups from all over south-eastern Europe. Among fierce competition we got the ticket for the finals on the European Venture Forum in Dusseldorf; friendships and partnerships were made and fun was had.

Friday 11 April 2014

The fish and chips shop

People often ask us how did we come up with Lexicum. To answer this question we are posting a series of stories. Each of these was a small step towards starting to work on Lexicum. These stories also illustrate different ways people can use Lexicum. We started with the introduction to Bulgarian and now continue with my (Martin's) first experience of British traditional food - my visit to the fish and chips shop.

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Weekly vocab awards

User activity on Lexicum has been growing steadily. By using Lexicum people are not only working on their vocabulary, but are also providing us with insights of what works well and what could be further improved in our web app. We want to say 'thank you' to everyone that helps us develop an even better product.

Monday 31 March 2014

The four most difficult Bulgarian words

Bulgarians are known for using a difficult alphabet (called Cyrillic after the name of one of its originators), but also for the fact that the most basic words in their language sound a bit too complicated. Yet, some of you might still be up for the challenge, and might want to be able to greet the Bulgarians they know in their native language.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Lexicum has arrived on mobile

In the past weeks we've been working on ways to make language learning part of everyday life. We help you expand your vocabulary by making it more accessible to you so that you don't see it as extra work but as an opportunity to improve. One major step to achieve this is bringing vocabulary learning to your mobile. Read on to see how...

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Our journey with Emerge Education

Back in February we promised to share a bit more on our participation in Emerge Education. Now half-ways into the programme, we have plenty to tell.

Monday 10 March 2014

Now progress in vocab learning is easy to track

At Lexicum we are making vocabulary learning progress visual. We've introduced this, along with several other improvements, to make language learning easier. Read further to find out how.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

The BETT language education survey

In the end of January the Lexicum team had a stand at BETT 2014 - an ed tech trade show attended by more than 30,000. There we conducted a marketing survey that was intended to exploratory, rather than representative. We collected data from 47 language learners and 53 representatives of organisations involved in language teaching. While the majority of respondents were from the UK, there were also representatives from 13 other European countries and several representing countries from other continents. Typically, representatives came from organisations that employed more than 100 people.

Sunday 9 February 2014

Lo and behold, the Lexicum waiting list is open

The Lexicum team has just set out to change the way the world learns vocabulary. We look forward to exciting times ahead and we'd like to share some of our adventures with you. In this new blog of ours we'll post news about our progress, we'll be sharing stories from the London startup scene, we'll be posting about exciting technologies - and also about the long and hard road towards second language acquisition.